You can make a lasting first impression with an excellent cover letter. A great first impression will make you stand out from the rest of the applicants, and will hopefully lead to the employer wanting to take your application further.
Here are our tips on how to make that happen:
Research the company before you start
One of the most important things you can do before you even start writing the application is to research the company’s background, their products or services, and their ethos. A better understanding of the company will allow you to craft your cover letter around what kind of person they’re looking for, and you’ll be able to identify why you match the job description.
Grab the readers attention in the first paragraph
If you know the recruiters name, then address the cover letter to them. If you don’t, then the company may let you know if you call them directly. Be clear as to why you’re writing, and let the employer know where you found the job advertisement. Include the full job title and the job reference number (if there is one).
Explain what you can bring to the company and why they should meet you
Use the next two or three paragraphs to explain why you’re suited to the role. Outline your previous experience and compare it to the skills and requirements in the job description. Draw on previous examples of work or projects you’ve carried out, and remember to mention any positive outcomes/results from those.
Be clear and concise
Keep your cover letter on one side of A4; don’t make it too long. Stick to the point of the letter itself, and keep your information clear and concise. Make sure the font is easy to read, and the font size not too small (size 12 should do for most fonts). Most employers will skim through cover letters, so they will not read something that’s illegible.
Make sure you have a good layout
Layout is important, as it helps make your cover easily readable. You should have no more than four paragraphs:
First paragraph: This should be your introduction. Keep it short and sweet and let the recruiter know why you’re writing.
Second paragraph: Describe your academic qualifications and your previous work experience that are relevant to the role. Don’t waffle too much, keep your points relevant.
Third paragraph: This is your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Expand on points in your CV which are most relevant to the job role.
Fourth paragraph: Thank them for their time and indicate that you’re willing to meet them for an interview at their convenience. After this paragraph, close the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’, before signing your name.
If you follow those tips, you can create a cover letter that will wow your potential new employer. Do you have any tips? Let us know in the cover letter below!